“What’s wrong with people?!” I’ve heard that phrase increasingly frequently over the past few years. One news story after another offers ‘proof’ that human beings are naturally cruel.

Scary movies, gory and graphic crime shows, and endless horror novels brim with the most appalling atrocities.

It’s easy to forget they are fiction. A classic example is the acclaimed Nobel Prize-winning Lord Of The Flies. British schoolboys, castaway on a deserted island turn into murderous savages. The story was hailed for revealing the true reality of human nature. Bull Crap!

A reality check proves that it’s utter nonsense. Join me and discover the lovely story of what ACTUALLY happened when a REAL group of school boys were marooned on a tropical island for over a year.

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Hi I’m Rick Green

I’d like to share a surprising story for anyone who’s highly sensitive or prone to anxiety, and don’t panic it’s good stuff trust me.

Worry Runs in the Family

I know because I come from a long line of worriers, that’s not actually that long. It’s my mom, her mom was actually quite practical but I was always very sensitive, prone to panic, neurotic.

I used my one gift a vivid imagination to imagine the worst, and I’m hardly alone in the conversations our patrons have in our chat rooms it’s clear many of us are worried, scared, sad, feeling hopeless, sometimes to the point of depression, or an anxiety disorder.

Is My Anxiety Normal?

It’s understandable, just turn on the news, violence, cruelty, depravity, so it’s kind of easy to conclude that humans are selfish, cruel, dangerous, not all not you… or I… obviously, but most everyone else.

Are People Mean?

Well that’s what I believed for most of my life, but in the last few years my pessimism and cynicism has started to evaporate all thanks to hard science, historical evidence, and considerable consideration.

Looking around at the people I know personally I realized that my dark view of human beings which so many of us share is mostly baseless, mostly.

Now before I could see the truth about humans I had to figure out why and how I developed this warped view of reality.

Where Did My Dislike of People Come From?

I think it’s the result of decades of exposure to unreality, to films, books, TV shows, the dark view of human nature was reinforced by the nightly news and church sermons, but it was mostly that graphic violence and scary stuff that we call entertainment.

I’d like to share one example that led me to this transformation, it’s from this book I’ll explain and I hope this gives you a more balanced perspective of human beings, more optimistic hopeful view that’s based on reality as opposed to the unreality of a fictional reality I refer to Lord of the Flies, the widely read constantly republished, critically acclaimed classic the book that still gets english lit teachers salivating.

Lord Of The Flies – The Beginning of Not Trusting People

Author William Golding was eventually knighted for his contribution to the world, even won the Nobel Prize because quote “his work illuminates The Human Condition in the world today”.

If you’re lucky enough not to have been exposed to this book in school, or seen the frightening movie, or the even more terrifying sequel, here’s the elevator pitch, a group of well-educated British school boys end up stranded on a tropical island after their plane crashes killing all the adults on board.

At first the lads organized themselves to gather food, keep a signal fire going, build shelter, it’s a veritable Boy Scout Adventure, but inevitably they fall from grace as their true nature emerges.

So by time a ship happens upon them just a few months later the boys have degenerated into violent superstitious savages living in squalor, except for two boys who are no longer living they’ve been murdered. Gripping story eh?

This fictional parable was hailed for daring to expose the ugly truth about human nature, Beware of the Primitive Savage lurking in us all ready to pounce.

Lucky for you school, church, government, police and civilization are here to suppress and prevent us from reverting into our natural warlike murdering cave dwellers.

By the way of the thousands of prehistoric cave paintings that have been found around the world the percentage that portray war is zero unfortunately some schools still teach kids that Lord of the Flies presents the harsh truth about human nature when it’s actually just human nature according to the author a dyspeptic alcoholic William Golding who once admitted he understood the Nazis because he was like that himself hey grade 8 students here’s the terrifying truth about human beings including all your classmates and your brothers and sisters and oh yeah yourself as a highly sensitive boy this fictional tale scared the crap out of me I studiously avoided watching the movie thankfully I only wish I’d never been required to read the book because I thought well this must be what happens luckily I found this book it’s humankind by Dutch historian ruer bregman he’s the author of Utopia for realists another great book like me and every student who read Lord of the Flies a young Mr bregman found Golding Sinister tale kind of dispiriting it was only later as an adult that he started to question the novel’s premise is this really how me and my friends would behave that wasn’t good that anyway had this situation ever actually happened in real life after an epic online search he finally located newspaper stories from 1966 about six school boys from the Pacific island nation of Tonga who borrowed a boat to go on a fishing Adventure but got caught up in a storm and after drifting for eight days washed up starving and parched on a tiny uninhabited Island Boys welcome to ATA over a year later an Australian ship chanced upon the island of ATA the ship’s Captain a part-time fisherman named Peter Warner had sailed to Tonga to ask the king for permission to trap lobsters there there when the king turned him down Warner meandered his way home doing some fishing along the way if he had permission or not as he motored past ATT a lookout on his ship spotted someone a human running down to the shore shouting and diving in swimming down to the boat and then another figure came into view out of the six boys guess how many had survived for 15 months six they’d all survived one boy Steven fell off a cliff and broke his leg but the others said it with some sticks and leaves and and it healed perfectly Captain Warner learned that the Castaways had divided up into Pairs and created and followed a work roster they created a food Garden chicken pens a Hut gymnasium with weights and eat your heart out Robinson cruso a badminton court they hollowed out tree trunks to store water and they maintained a permanent fire before betting down each night they prayed and sang songs accompanied by guitar that one boy crafted out of a seashell uh Driftwood and some wire from the wreckage of the boat of course there was conflict but rather than ritually murder each other the opponents would go to opposite ends of the island for a few hours and calm down and then they’d return shake hands and make up this was 1966 long before school boards discovered the power of the timeout to be clear ATA wasn’t a child friendly version of Gilligan’s Island in fact the first summer The Castaways almost died from thirst they struggled with despair they built a raft and shades of Tom Hanks it collapsed during a fierce tropical storm a falling tree flattened their Hut so it was hardly a Tropical Paradise in fact a few years ago a Spanish Adventurer went to the island of Atta thinking it might make a great place to Stage shipwreck Adventures for Rich folks seeking a pretended dangerous Adventure he lasted nine days on the island and then bailed saying it was too tough to survive on but he was alone working together while the boys hung on for 15 months meanwhile of course back on Tonga their families had long given up hope and held six funerals so when Peter Warner brought the boys home the joy and the celebration was well you can imagine the Great king of Tonga asked Captain Warner if there was anything he could give him yeah permission to trap lobsters in the area and set up a business in Tonga the king of course acquiesced Warner returned to Australia quit his regular accounting job at his father’s construction firm had a custom Lobster Boat built christened it ATA and returned to Tonga he also hired a crew of locals a crew of six six boys yeah the six boys from Ada anyway screw William Golding a former School master who once split his students into groups and urg them to attack each other and screw the Nobel Prize committee and all the literary critics who hailed this dark Fable as a daring expose on the true nature of humans and shame on every school board that continues to expose impressionable young people to Lord of the Flies anyway I really wanted to share this example of why I become much more optimistic about human beings it isn’t just one story of course uh there are dozens probably a hundred examples and I’ve been doing a lot of that anyway get the book humankind by reer bregman it’s the most uplifting wonderful read and I know it’s the worst cover ever looks like I designed it